By Mojang

Reviewed for High School, 2012

Minecraft Pocket Edition

Meet Minecraft, a recent sensation among computer-savvy kids. Originally an online multiplayer computer game, Minecraft is like virtual LEGOs, except the possibilities for building and creating are literally infinite. Plus, kids can play right alongside their friends online, and even talk with each other as they play. This game is highly addictive. Fortunately, it also packs some educational perks, including engineering, math, teamwork, logic, problem solving and more. There are two main modes of gameplay: “survival” or “creative”. In survival mode, kids brave the terrain of a desert, forest or jungle, where they must find resources like wood, stone and seeds to create weapons, build houses, plant crops and survive the nighttime monster attacks. In creative mode, kids have access to an arsenal of hundreds of materials—wood, stone, gems, wire, metals... anything you can think of. Kids are free to create at their leisure, without the imminent threat of a zombie spider attack. You’d be surprised at the incredible and elaborate machines that kids can build in creative mode. A techy kid will even get some basic programming experience as he learns to hack different worlds and customize the maps and inventory. Keep in mind that the Pocket Edition of Minecraft is limited, and does not include all the materials that are available in the full computer version. (Mojang, $6.99)